In a recent study of Canadian renters, nearly half didn’t have Tenant insurance coverage. This is partly due to the fact that there is confusion about what Tenant insurance actually covers and how it can benefit them. We tackle these common myths about Tenant insurance while answering some of your concerns about coverage.

The common myths about Tenant insurance

There is a lot of misinformation or myths when it comes to Tenant insurance. Here are five of the most common ones out there:

Myth #1: I have coverage with my landlord’s insurance

The truth is, while your landlord’s insurance policy does cover the building in which you live, it doesn’t extend to possessions within your apartment or home. Don’t leave your personal belongings unprotected. Tenant insurance policies cover the cost of repairing or replacing items lost or damaged as a result of fire, vandalism, theft or some types of water damage.

Myth #2: I’m a renter, so I don’t have enough possessions to need insurance

Not true. Don’t underestimate the cost of replacing your possessions. Look at the basics found in most rental units: TV, laptop, furniture, appliances, clothes and food. If this list looks familiar, then you have more than enough to justify having insurance. Remember, even if you are frugal and bought your stuff on sale or at a discount, it will cost you more to replace now.

Myth #3: Tenant insurance premiums are too expensive

Not true. Rent nowadays isn’t cheap. However, when you consider the cost of replacing all (or some) of your belongings, or even the cost of a liability lawsuit, paying a few dollars a month for Tenant insurance is actually the most affordable (and money-wise) thing to do.

Myth #4: My roommate has insurance, so I am covered, too

Even if your roommate has Tenant insurance, you shouldn’t assume that you’re automatically covered under his or her policy. In fact, most of the time, Tenant insurance only covers the policyholder’s personal belongings, not those of his or her roommate.

If you’re thinking of purchasing renter’s insurance with your roommate, it is a good idea that everyone has their own personal inventory of belongings and what they are worth.

Myth #5: Only my belongings are covered

This is false. Tenant insurance will protect not only your belongings, but you, as well. If you cause accidental damage to another tenant’s property, you will be covered. Your policy will cover any accidental damage you cause to your neighbour’s property, so you aren’t stuck with the bill. Much like homeowner’s insurance, it will also cover any injuries or liability suits that may arise if, say, a friend slips on a rug in your living room.

Can a landlord make you get Renter’s insurance?

In Ontario, the short answer is yes. The Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act doesn’t require Tenant insurance. However, landlords do have the right to insist on seeing you are insured as a lease condition.

Does Tenant insurance cover bed bugs?

No. Most tenant packages do not offer coverage for damage or loss as a result of bed bugs. Speak with your isure broker to see if it is available as an add-on.

Does Renter’s insurance cover dog bites?

Yes. Renter’s insurance can cover dog bites under your liability coverage. Make sure your isure broker is aware that you have a dog to be sure it is included in your protection.

Does Renter’s insurance cover holes in the wall?

It depends on the nature of the damage. If it was deliberate, then no. If it was a result of vandalism, then you will be insured.

Can tenants get flood insurance?

Yes, flood insurance is available as an add-on to any tenant insurance policy. Call your isure broker to discuss the details. Floods come in many forms; a burst pipe is typically covered, but heavy rainfall or sewer backups are not.

Does my location affect my home insurance rate, even as a tenant?

Multiple factors related to location affect your insurance, such as:

  • A fire hydrant within 300 metres of your home
  • Your home is located where severe weather occurs, such as a flood plain or areas prone to wind storms
  • The level of crime in your area
  • The frequency of other insurance claims

Can I rent my apartment on Airbnb?

Check with your landlord. Airbnb does offer insurance for their hosts, but if you or your landlord needs more insurance, there are only a select few providers who insure home-sharing.

Whether you’re renting an apartment or home, Tenant insurance just makes sense. For the cost of getting take-out, you can protect your valuable possessions and yourself against liability. To help you decide whether this type of coverage is right for you, it’s important to separate myth from fact. Speak with one of our isure brokers and get the information you need to ensure you have the proper coverage for your belongings.

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